PRODUCT REVIEW: Abercrombie & Fitch Linen-Blend Camp Collar Button-Up Shirt

A man in a camp collar shirt

Camp collar shirts in lightweight fabrics are a menswear summer staple. They are particular favorites among Bond fans because of Connery’s penchant for wearing them during his tropical adventures, most notably Thunderball (1965). Orlebar Brown recently released their interpretation of the Thunderball navy camp collar shirt, which inspired my article, “Orlebar Brown Thunderball Linen Shirt Alternatives.” 

The Details 

The Abercrombie & Fitch Men’s Linen-Blend Camp Collar Button-Up Shirt was one of my picks under $50. It is a standard-fit shirt that features a camp collar, five navy buttons to match the shirt color, and a straight hem with side vents. The shirt is made of 53% linen and 47% cotton—the cotton is used to soften the linen so it drapes better. 

The Design 

The shirt is a no-frills approach to a camp collar shirt. It has straight sides and straight hem as well as straight lines in the sleeves. I like the navy color—it’s a rich deep navy but it isn’t so dark that it looks black.

One thing that bothers me about the shirt’s design is the collar. The collar is a little bit narrow, which I think makes it look too small for the shirt. You can also see in the photo how the collar comes straight down when the shirt is buttoned—I think it should have more of an angle to it (like the other shirts on my list of alternatives). It’s not a deal breaker, but it makes the shirt’s proportions feel slightly off.  

I’m also not a huge fan of the button placement. They’re both too high and too low—I don’t really like buttoning the top button because it feels high but the second button is too low at the bottom of my chest, which looks a little too casual for my taste, so I have no choice. 

The Fabric

This close-up picture shows the bunching around the shirt hem.

Again, this is a 53% linen, 47% cotton blend. Honestly, I remember my first impression when I took the shirt out of the package was that it felt heavier than I thought it would. It’s not a heavy fabric by any means—you can still see light through it if you hold it away from your body. But there are several parts of the shirt that have two layers of fabric (behind the collar, behind the buttons, all the hems) that makes the shirt feel heavier than it really is. 

Given its linen-cotton blend, it’s no surprise the shirt breathes well, making it an excellent warm weather option. The shirt doesn’t drape as well as I would like, but that’s not a surprise considering how much linen is in the shirt. (Generally speaking, the more linen in a piece of clothing, the stiffer it will be.) I’ve also noticed after washing it a couple of times that the shirt tends to bunch or ruffle along the hems. 

One thing to be aware of with linen—it’s going to wrinkle. That’s part of the charm and gives your clothes a lived in feel without necessarily looking sloppy. However, if wrinkles in a shirt are going to bother you, steer clear of this shirt and other linen-blend shirts in general. I see a lot of reviews where people complain that their linen pants/shirts/etc. are too wrinkled as if that’s a flaw in the product. That’s not a flaw—that’s linen doing exactly what it’s supposed to do.

The Fit

I don’t like how the extra fabric billows in the back.

I’m going to preface this by saying that I’m an oddly proportioned person—I have a short torso but long arms, and wide shoulders but a narrow waist. My chest measurement fluctuates between 38”–41” depending on what kind of workouts I’m doing, and my waist fluctuates between 29”–31”. It’s pretty challenging for me to find shirts that fit me properly, which is why you’ll notice I wear a lot of shirts from the same brands—once I find something that works, I tend to stick with it. 

You can see how the extra fabric makes the shirt billow.

All that said, I hate the way this shirt fits. Because the sides are straight instead of tapered, I feel like I’m swimming in it even though the shoulders fit perfectly. In fact, I wouldn’t be able to wear a smaller size because it would be too tight across my upper body, so instead I’m left with a shirt that’s too big everywhere else. And because the fabric is a little stiff, it just billows all around but especially in the back. 

In Abercrombie & Fitch’s defense, this isn’t supposed to be a slim-fit shirt. I’ll admit I probably shouldn’t have ordered it—I mistakenly thought it wouldn’t be an issue because Abercrombie clothes have a tendency to run slim. I was definitely wrong. If you’re the kind of person who wears slim-fit shirts, this is not going to be a good fit. 

The Bottom Line

In my book, the best thing about this shirt is the lightweight fabric and the laid-back look the shirt gives you. It definitely feels like something meant for a tropical adventure. 

However, the shirt’s fit just doesn’t work for me. I’ll get some use out of it over swim trunks or just lounging around my house but I wouldn’t wear it for anything else. If you wear standard-fit shirts regularly or like the baggier fit that’s coming back in style right now, this might be a good option for you. But if you need a slim-fit, steer clear of this shirt. 

One thought on “PRODUCT REVIEW: Abercrombie & Fitch Linen-Blend Camp Collar Button-Up Shirt

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s